It’s impossible to avoid Southern fare when you pay a visit to Savannah. The Hostess City is home to some of the very best Southern cuisine in the region, and the DoubleTree, located conveniently in Savannah’s Historic District (with free valet parking!), offers up a fine lunch buffet Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that will satiate any appetite. So, round up your coworkers for a business lunch or friends and family for a birthday celebration and get ready to embark on a Southern comfort food journey.
Before you dive into the main course, you have to whet your appetite with a cool, refreshing salad. The DoubleTree Southern-style lunch buffet provides you with plenty of options to personalize your salad as you see fit. Choose lettuce or spinach, and then load up on a variety of toppings that include ham, eggs, red onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Drizzle your choice of dressing over your freshly-made salad, and you’re well on your way.
Now that you’ve had your salad, it’s time to move on to the main course. Absolutely no classic Southern meal is complete without collard greens. Pile your plate with these leafy-green vegetables that are slow-cooked with a ham hock in broth. Collard greens are a staple in Southern cooking, so there’s no reason why these shouldn’t be on your plate.
Fried chicken and Southern culture go hand-in-hand, and it’s arguably the most important part of any Southern spread. From the first bite you’re introduced to golden, crunchy skin followed by juicy meat. Ask any Southerner and they’ll tell you without hesitation that this is chicken in its most perfect form.
Once you add your other essential Southern food items — namely macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas, and okra — it’s time to chow down. Don’t be shy about going back for seconds (or thirds)!
Let’s hope you saved room because a creamy banana pudding — another Southern cuisine staple — complete with vanilla wafers and whipped cream awaits you. This classic dessert is the ultimate comfort food and will help you truly understand the meaning of Southern hospitality.
In spring, when warmer weather greets the blooming azaleas and camellias, Savannah comes to life. Visitors are returning to the beaches, artists are in the streets and everyone is looking forward to the countless activities and seasonal events that make Savannah the perfect getaway for your spring break. Here are just some of the many reasons to enjoy Savannah this spring.
Savannah Stopover Music Festival March 7-9
Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival is a hugely popular music festival that brings hundreds of musical performers every single year for one of the nation’s largest and most anticipated events. With a very high demand for more shows, dozens of bands have opted to play more venues in other cities before SXSW even begins. In Savannah, you can preview dozens of talented artists from around the country and the world. Now in its ninth year, the Savannah Stopover Music Festival features artists like Deerhunter, Susto, The Joy Formidable and many others.
The only thing greener than spring in Savannah is the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Over 300,000 people visit Savannah for one of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades. Make your plans to see the Greening of the Fountain at Forsyth Park or stop by one of the many performances during the St. Patrick’s Day Festival. There’s no better place to go green than Savannah.
Savannah Music Festival March 28 – April 1
It’s hard to overstate the musical talent that Savannah attracts. The Savannah Music Festival brings world-class musical artists for over two full weeks of incredible acts and performances. Back for its 30th year, the festival is set to feature one of its largest and most talented lineups ever. Come and enjoy shows from the likes of The Earls of Leicester, Ricky Skaggs, Punch Brothers and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Spring is the perfect time to venture out to Tybee Island. A short drive from downtown Savannah, Tybee has plenty to pique your interest. From beautiful beaches to relax on to delightful dining at the “world famous” Breakfast Club, you’ll find plenty of ways to spend your time on the island. And if you want to do a little more exploring, check out one of Tybee’s famous dolphin tours.
Enjoy a tour with Old Savannah Tours
Experience the most entertaining tour of Savannah when you step on one of these classic trolleys. Try one of the popular “On/Off tours” with fun, local guides, offering helpful tips on sights along the route. Old Savannah Tours also offers themed tours like the Historic Overview Tour, where you’ll see interesting characters like pirates or even Forrest Gump. If you’re eager to ride a classic riverboat, there is a Land and Sea Tour. Old Savannah Tours also connects you to many of the city’s most celebrated landmarks with their History and Architecture Package, which includes admission to the Owens-Thomas House as well as free admission to the Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center for the Arts. With pickup in front of the DoubleTree Savannah Historic District, this is one of the easiest tours to access.
Savannah is one of the most romantic cities in America. With its charming historic streets, dramatic Spanish moss draped over enormous live oak trees, spectacular river views, and oceanfront proximity, it’s no wonder the city has become such a popular site for destination weddings and elopements.
Just twenty minutes outside the city, Tybee Island is the perfect wedding venue for beach-lovers looking for a laidback atmosphere. Here you can say your “I Dos” with crashing waves and dramatic dunes as a backdrop during a breathtaking sunset. Host a reception at the Tybee Island Historic Lighthouse grounds, ideal for an elegant, tented event, or enjoy an intimate celebration with live music at Tybee Island Social Club.
If you love Savannah’s historic parks and squares, we highly recommend snapping a few wedding photos in front of the beautiful Forsyth Fountain and posing with your whole wedding party under the romantic live oak trees. You can even rent out a square for your special day! More information here. For spectacular receptions in the Historic District, take a look at the Charles Morris Center, which can host events up to 300 guests, and the Gingerbread House is utterly charming for smaller celebrations up to 100 guests.
If you’re planning to host some out-of-town guests, be sure to secure a block of rooms at one or two hotels in the area. While you’ll typically find the best rates during the off-season, you may be able to snag a discount if you guarantee a minimum number of rooms in advance. Our preferred hotels offer event space, catering menus, and close proximity to everything downtown Savannah has to offer! Your guests will love being close to all the shopping and restaurants in the Historic District while they relax during your wedding weekend.
Book a block of rooms at the Homewood Suites Savannah Historic District/Riverfront and arrange for a cocktail hour on the rooftop bar for stunning river views and champagne toasts high above the city. We also highly recommend hosting a morning-after southern buffet brunch at the DoubleTree Savannah Historic District’s in-house restaurant, John Ryan’s Bistro, where you can reconnect with your guests before heading off on the honeymoon of your dreams!
Feeling spontaneous, or just overwhelmed with the prospect of wedding planning? Consider eloping! There are plenty of elopement services in Savannah to make your planning process a breeze. If you’re suddenly swept up by the city’s southern charm, you can even book a wedding officiant on the fly!
However you spend your special day, we’re here with travel tips and recommendations! Tag your Savannah wedding photos #StayinSavannah for a chance to be featured on our home page! What are you waiting for? Book your next stay and start planning now!
Typically, vacation is all about lettin’ loose — at least a little. And in a Southern city like Savannah where decadent home cooking is immensely popular, sometimes lettin’ loose might also mean loosening those pants a little, too. But no need to fret because we’re here with a little helpful advice for how to enjoy a healthy, feel-good Savannah getaway (even with a few indulgences here and there).
Dancing Dogs Yoga Nothing starts the day off right like a proper sun salutation pose (and also preps those muscles for a walking tour later). Whether you’re new to yoga or you’ve been practicing for 10 years, Dancing Dogs Yoga in downtown Savannah on Broughton Street has a class for you. “Our classes can be challenging,” explained Christine Graeber, general manager of the Savannah and Tybee studios and an instructor. “We’re a hot power yoga studio but we teach to all levels so though we do offer more advanced postures, we don’t expect someone to be able to do them all.”
With enough space to accommodate up to 75 people, walk-ins are welcome. If you’re looking for a specific class you can visit their website for a complete schedule. Dancing Dogs even offers equipment rental to make it easier to incorporate yoga into your getaway. “Vacations can be stressful,” commented Graeber. “Your diet can change, you don’t exercise, and yoga is a great opportunity to get balanced.” Maybe you had a few too many cocktails the night before? “We say ‘detox to retox’,” quipped Graeber, who adds one class with Dancing Dogs can help you reduce stress, create flexibility, and pump up your heart rate as well. Sounds like the perfect way to get things going in Savannah!
Brighter Day Natural Foods If you’re visiting Savannah, chances are Forsyth Park is on your list of things to see. While you’re at the park’s south end, be sure you visit the best little health shop you’ve ever been in, Brighter Day Natural Foods. “It was 1978 and we were both young, 24 at the time, but we found this location and everything fell in place,” said Janie Brodhead who, with her husband, Peter, co-owns the health food store.
Still in its original location, Brighter Day is one of those places that makes you feel healthier just by walking inside. From vitamins and minerals to organic foods and even a grab-and-go deli counter (all healthy of course), Brodhead and her husband believe in much more than ‘selling’ good but also helping customers make good choices as well. “We’ve set very strict standards for everything in our store so a customer can come in blindfolded and confidently make selections of natural, preservative-free, good-for-you items without reading one label.”
With most of their staff having a 30-year or longer involvement with Brighter Day, you can go in not knowing one thing about what vitamins you need yet leave feeling fully informed — and healthier — for your visit. Whether you need a natural remedy from eating too much the night before, or just a little something to fend off vacation weariness, Brighter Day is going to make your vacation — and your overall well-being — much better!
Kayak Kafé So you’ve done your yoga, stocked up on vitamins and now, you’re hungry! Though fried chicken (or seafood, or steaks…) are bound to be on your plate at some point during your stay in Savannah, you can still leave room for some healthy fare, Savannah style. Kayak Kafé, located on Broughton Street, has been serving affordable, healthy, fast-casual choices to customers for almost 13 years. “The inspiration behind our menu items is to offer great, sustainable selections for everyone,” said Brendan Pappas, owner/operator of Kayak Kafé. “Whether you follow a plant-based, gluten-free, vegan, paleo or omnivore diet, we offer great house-made choices using the highest quality ingredients around.”
Among Kayak Kafé’s more unique menu choices are the Black-Eyed Pea Burger, Lime Chicken Enchiladas, and the Walnut Chorizo Tacos. “If you didn’t know it was healthy, you would still love it as much,” Pappas said. “We pride ourselves on making everything in house, from scratch, including all of our vegan dishes.” Even if you’re in need of a meal on the go, Kayak Kafé uses only biodegradable and compostable products so you’ll feel as good about what you eat as what its served in — now that’s ‘feel good’ all day long!
Blend and Press Wellness Bar And rounding out our tips for a healthy getaway is Blend and Press Wellness Bar, where owner Chelsea Dye and her team of ‘mixologists’ have perfected the recipe(s) for clean living. “People just don’t have energy,” explained Dye. “We’re creating an easier solution to the ills and woes of getting healthy and staying healthy.” What you may think of as a smoothie, Dye and her mixologists create using a press and blend technique — no ice — in order to preserve the integrity of ingredients and make her selections as clean as possible.
“It’s a nice way to stay healthy,” said Dye. “Customers can come in and pick up our drinks and store them in their room fridge to easily have on hand and it’s still going to be good and fresh. We also offer smaller-sized shots so from a super-immunity shot to combat an airplane’s cabin air or one to help with changes in diet and irregularity, we’re here to help customers find the solutions their bodies need.” Dye even encourages those traveling to the city to call her before you arrive to discuss your needs and Blend and Press Wellness Bar will customize their products for you ahead of time, which means no excuses, right?
Even though the Savannah foodie scene may get more recognition for its ‘comfort’ side, it’s good to know there are still amazingly healthy ways to enjoy a feel-good Savannah getaway – and take the good home with you! See you soon!
There is no better place to ring in the New Year than in the charming city of Savannah, Georgia. With so much to offer it’s no wonder people travel from all over to celebrate with Savannahians. Here are nine exciting ways you can ring in 2019.
The Savannah Theatre: A Rockin’ New Year’s Eve
The Savannah Theatre, located on Chippewa Square, presents a fun and unique way to roll in the New Year. A Rockin’ New Year’s Eve is a special night of entertainment that includes a two-hour musical of “Savannah Live.” During the party, you’ll celebrate with the cast while, toasting to champagne, dancing, and singing on stage with the rockin’ live band until after midnight! Purchase your tickets in advance.
Savannah River Boat Cruises
Many celebrate New Year’s by the Savannah River but very few celebrate on the river. Savannah Riverboat Cruises offers two incredible experiences: a New Year’s Eve Gala Cruise and a New Year’s Eve Party Cruise. The NYE Party Cruise features heavy hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, party favors and a cash bar onboard. The Gala Cruise is a stylish cocktail attire, 4-course surf & turf dinner with a bottle of champagne or house wine, party favors, excellent live entertainment and a cash bar! This is something you will want to purchase ahead of time as the cruises fill quickly!
We may not have snow here in Savannah but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the brisk ice-skating rink at the Savannah Civic Center! Skatefest is an annual tradition that is fun for the entire family. Multiple sessions are offered and extend every ninety minutes on New Year’s Eve as well as New Year’s Day. Grab a jacket and head downtown!
City Market: New Year’s Eve Celebration
If you like live music, City Market is the place to be on New Year’s Eve. Music starts at 9 PM and will last well into the New Year. You will hear all different types of bands and genres, so grab your dancing shoes and enjoy the outdoor street party!
Up the Cup
Like the ball drop in New York, Savannah has its own unique way of counting down the final seconds to the New Year with the Up the Cup celebration. A six-foot to-go cup will drop when the clock strikes midnight. This unusual but exciting Savannah tradition comes with a fun light show. Don’t be shy, greet a stranger in the street, and countdown to the New Year!
Hilton Garden Inn Cocktail Bar
Located off W. Bay and Montgomery St. close to City Market the Hilton Garden Inn is situated in the perfect location for cocktails with friends before walking to the firework show on River Street. Come to enjoy the warmth of the indoors while listening to music, catching up on the college football bowl games, and toasting to a New Year!
River Street Fireworks
If you decide to celebrate New Year’s downtown, head to River Street to watch fireworks light up the city sky as they also reflect on the Savannah River. This picturesque event will take place promptly at midnight, so make sure to grab that special someone to share your midnight kiss with!
Tybee Island Fireworks If you want to escape the downtown scene, enjoy Tybee Island’s annual fireworks show from the beach! You can watch from a beach chair, blanket, or the many restaurants and bars Tybee has to offer. The show is launched from the end of the Tybee Pier at the stroke of midnight, so find your spot early and enjoy the spectacular show!
Rooftop at Homewood Suites
Plan ahead and reserve a room at the Homewood Suites. The guest-only rooftop bar is the perfect place to catch the River Street fireworks away from the crowd. Click your champagne glasses and ring in the New Year in a more intimate and romantic way. Enjoy complimentary parking and breakfast along with the best views of the city.
Cheers to 2019. Share your New Year’s Eve photos with #StayinSavannah so we can celebrate with you!
When the sun goes down, Savannah is just waking up. Savannah’s nightlife boasts plenty of exciting events, restaurants and bars that could easily turn you into a night owl for a weekend.
Johnson Square Food Trucks after 11 PM
Okay, you’ve had dinner (and possibly a few drinks), but after walking around downtown, you’ve already burned it off. Well, fortunately, just over a year and a half ago, Savannah began allowing food truck sales, and they have been an enormous hit, especially for late night, on-the-go bites. Visit Johnson Square at night and you’ll find a variety of food trucks you’ll love. Try a half rack of ribs, paired with savory and sweet sauces, as well as mac n’ cheese “done right” from Roy’s Nutz & Buttz Barbecue. Taste the Hat Trick, a traditional poutine topped with sweet and spicy sausage, bacon, chorizo and jalapenos from The Squeaky Beaver. Or try the jerk fried fish with mango salsa, cilantro sour cream and dill pickle from Dark Shark Taco Attack.
To-go Cups (Yes, Open Containers)
There is a lot to do in Savannah, and so much to see as you walk along the historic streets at night, wouldn’t enjoying an adult beverage make it even better? Savannah is one of the few cities that encourages to-go cups, which allow you to bring your drink of choice with you when it’s time to leave the restaurant or bar. If you’re walking somewhere between the river and Jones Street and from West Boundary to E. Broad Street, then you can make use of these to-go cups in nearby restaurants and take your beer or cocktail with you. Just make sure to contain yourself.
City Market Free Concerts
If you’re looking for a little entertainment on the cheap side, head over to City Market. This converted square of warehouses not only has dozens of boutique shops from Savannah Cigars to Georgia Tasting Room to the American Prohibition Museum during the day, but it also has nightly performances from various local artists, even on weeknights. And it isn’t far from some great restaurants and bars like A.Lure, Vinnie Van Go Gos, Belford’s, The Rail Pub and Boomys. Check their calendar for updated performance schedules.
There are plenty of opportunities to wet your whistle, but did you know that Savannah offers several special pub crawls? Depending on your tolerance for information (and alcohol), you can find haunted tours and historical tours year-round, but you can also find seasonal and holiday bar crawls. Finish the year with the Twelve Bars of Christmas and the New Year’s Resolution Bar Crawl both this month. Or look forward to the new year with Cupid is Stupid in February and St. Practice Day in March.
Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos
What if a jukebox and an improv comedian had a baby? For over 20 years, Savannah Smiles has answered that question with some wildly entertaining musical performances. Here, you can request a song and live performers will battle it out in multiple styles and genres. You can also enjoy the pub-style food, local beer and liquors. Check out their schedule for a full listing of performers.
Although I’m a Savannah local, it’s been a while since I indulged in a day of exploring the city’s mystical treasure-troves. Savannah’s antique stores have so much to offer, from the locations, to the eclectic wares, to the hospitable owners, these shops are like a constantly unfolding story.
In one store, I’m bound to uncover a shimmering clutch purse that reminds me of my grandmother’s beautiful accessories. At another, I’ll lose myself in the aromas of hand-cut soaps while sipping a latte and indulging in a fresh-baked croissant. At yet another, I’ll find that perfect mix of new and old pieces to bring immense amounts of character to my home. If you love hunting for the perfect hidden gem as much as I do, come explore some of the finest vintage, antique, restored, and collectible shops Savannah has to offer.
When you stroll through Picker Joe’s Antique Mall and Vintage Market, you should be prepared to not only delight in everything you’ll see, but also have a really good, nostalgia-filled time. Owner Jim Plumlee, a former auto mechanic and part-time air-show pilot opened Picker Joe’s just over three and a half years ago. In fact, it was his pilot gig, and his affinity for old instrument gauges, that prompted a neighbor to ask him, “have you ever thought of getting a booth?” So he did. He got his own spot in a larger antique mall and along the way discovered his passion. “I LOVE going to work every day,” says Plumlee. “It’s like our slogan – an experience like no other – it changes all the time.” He said of all the praise he hears from his customers, the comments he hears most often are: it’s clean, it’s neat, it’s organized, and the energy is like no other mall they’ve been in. With Big Band music playing in the background and 65 individual dealers in addition to Picker Joe’s own selection, prepare to de-stress and experience unprecedented retail therapy. “I have PFTP,” said Plumlee in a spirited tone, “Passion for the Past.” Beyond aviation finds, Plumlee also has a passion for architectural salvage and will soon expand his back room by 300% just to house those specific finds. Be sure to visit their Facebook page where they have 360 degree photos to give you a virtual feel of all you’ll see in person.
Now on to a shop whose motto is simply, “if you need it, we don’t have it, but if you want it, we’ve got it.” Welcome to Wright Square Vintage and Retro Mall. As its name suggests, this is not a one-owner type of store, but rather hosts 32 dealers within its space to ensure there really is something for everyone. “Every dealer has their niche of something they do well,” said Andy Sher who, along with Joe Weaver, co-owns the shop. “We have some dealers who specialize in record albums, others who only carry vintage cameras and others who do vintage clothing.” Sher kindly explained the difference between antique and vintage to me, “an antique piece has to be 50 years or older but vintage or retro pieces are words that indicate something ‘not new’ and resonate with customers.” In many ways, Wright Square Vintage and Retro Mall is like the Smithsonian, “you can spend five years looking at all of our booths,” described Sher, “but most customers don’t just wander in. They’ve done their homework and we’re on their ‘to see’ list of places they want to go,” and he adds, “it’s a short list.” Sher knows the store and its dealers like the back of his hand and not only guides customers, but also tries to lend some local advice on what to see and do while in Savannah. “We sell a lot of copies of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, first editions and even signed copies, and if a customer buys one, I ask how many days they have left here and then I try to guide them as to what to do to ‘live’ the book,” said Sher. Eclectic finds and a tour guide to boot? Sounds like Wright Square Vintage and Retro Mall is a great stop for every visitor.
The next shop is best described by its owner, Renee Slipko: “GCD Home Furnishings & Décor is located in a quiet part of downtown Savannah. You enter the shop through a 10-foot red barn door and into a large, open loft with exposed Savannah gray brick walls, a wood-planked ceiling and massive steel industrial support beams.” This is the type of shop where you could spend hours browsing, exploring, and discovering. GCD offers customers countless vintage and new items, as well as a selection of antique pieces (some more than 100 years old). Their full offering includes furniture and home accents with an emphasis on affordability and eccentricity. “The range of products is as surprising as the affordable prices are,” Slipko, who owns GCD with her husband, Robert, told us. “Available items include a line of imported antique and vintage Persian rugs, new mid-century modern furniture, imported hand-dyed Kantha quilts, pillows, floor poofs, vintage and new artwork….” The shop also hosts a revolving art exhibit with different local Savannah artists every month as well as one-of-a-kind jewelry, seasonal and upcycled signs, and hand-crocheted blankets. During the holidays, GCD is offering free gift-wrapping on all purchases along with several tiered add-on “bonus items” where the more you spend, the more you get. GCD will also be doing a holiday raffle so be sure to check their Facebook page for updates.
Yes, we’re in Savannah, GA, but The Paris Market, positioned at the corner of Whitaker and Broughton Streets in downtown Savannah, is like a vacation inside of a vacation for anyone visiting the city. “If I can help someone have a good day and maybe even transport them into a different world for a few minutes, then my job is done,” said Paula Danyluk, the shop’s owner. “When you open our big antique doors, you hear French music playing and smell dried lavender and hand-cut soaps, along with freshly brewed coffee, croissants, cookies, and baguettes from our café.” As you may have guessed, this is not your standard variety shop. With every step, you hear the old, wooden floors creak beneath your feet as you’re struck by the mix of both antique and modern goods perfectly comingled on displays throughout the space. “We have two floors full of beautiful, whimsical treasures,” Danyluk explained, “home goods and kitchen wares, jewelry and handbags, vintage furniture and light fixtures, art books and children’s gifts.” Danyluk travels extensively to craft her curated selection at The Paris Market, often falling in love with the story and history of a piece so much that it’s hard to part with! When it comes to spotting a rare find, Danyluk advises, “Don’t worry about whether or not something is rare. If it feels special and it makes you happy whenever you look at it, well, that’s the most beautiful gift of all.”
Just outside of Savannah’s downtown district is the community of Sandfly and our next stop: a 16,000 square foot space called Sandfly Market. “We are the largest antique mall in Savannah with an ever-changing, eclectic selection of antiques, primitives, mid-century, rustic and unique finds,” described Amber Lair who co-owns Sandfly Market along with Krystle Venticinque. A visit to Sandfly Market provides you with an opportunity to both purchase historic pieces and explore historic surroundings. Sandfly is located near Isle of Hope at the intersection of Montgomery Crossroad and Skidaway Island. The community was established by African Americans in the nineteenth century, many of whom were former slaves of the nearby Wormsloe Plantation. “We tell our customers to plan a day trip in downtown Sandfly and visit our shop, followed by lunch at a local restaurant or café and after lunch, they can head on over to historic Wormsloe plantation followed by a stroll down beautiful Bluff Drive,” recommended Lair. Wormsloe, the colonial estate of Noble Jones who was among the first Savannah settlers from England, is known for its breathtaking Live Oak entry that is a natural canopy of centuries-old limbs and Spanish moss. Today, Wormsloe is a state historic site and offers programs, events, a museum, and interpretive nature trail for visitors to enjoy. A visit to Sandfly Market is a great way to immerse yourself in history. “Savannah truly gives you the full experience of living in the past, and what better way to take a piece of Savannah home with you than with antiques?” said Lair. “We have a team of about 30 vendors who travel all across the US to bring back one-of-a-kind, hand-picked items,” Lair told me. If you happen to visit Sandfly Market in December, you can feel extra-good about your purchase as part of their annual charity event. Shoppers can even expect sales from 10-40% off for the month of December. Find out more about their charitable giving and view photos of their selections on their website.
As you countdown to the gift-giving season, why not skip the crowded box stores and bland online-shopping, for a gift discovery excursion? If you’re planning a Savannah trip anytime soon, be sure to bookmark post for easy reference. Trust me, you won’t want to miss a single shop!
It’s the season of giving and you’ve probably started thinking about finding the perfect gifts for the ones you love. If you’re visiting Savannah during the holiday season, you’ll find something for everyone on your list at our wide variety of local shops and boutiques. It also happens to be perfect shopping weather this time of year – crisp and cool, but not too cold! So take a stroll down Broughton Street, wander through City Market, and weave your way around Savannah’s historic squares as you discover all the unique shopping and locally-made treats to take home for the holidays.
The Paris Market is a Francophile’s dream. From its immaculately designed window displays to the cozy Parisian café inside, serving espresso and delicate macarons, this distinctive shop has a little bit of everything! On the main level, you’ll find locally-inspired candles, old-fashioned candies, delicate jewelry, and French perfumes. Little ones on your list? Their children’s section boasts adorable toys, costumes, and clothing. Venture downstairs to find an eclectic array of home goods, from vintage teacups and barware to handcrafted cutting boards and baking mixes. The entire store is a carefully-curated wonderland with a rare attention to detail.
While many Savannah visitors are familiar with the popular Savannah Bee Company, this new, local shop is also garnering quite a bit of buzz! Venture down the eastern end of Broughton to find Capital Bee — a quaint boutique selling local honey, scented candles, pretty tea towels, and other bee-utiful gifts. Wooden honey dippers and pewter bee magnets make the perfect stocking stuffers, and you absolutely must try the raw frosted cinnamon honey! Want to give a little bit of everything? Capital Bee offers handpicked gift sets featuring some of their favorite products.
This idyllic independent bookshop is the perfect place to pick up a thoughtful gift for every book-lover on your list. Located just off Madison Square, E. Shaver is picturesque and loaded with charm. Pet the resident kitties while you peruse their wide selection of literature, local history, and children’s books. You’ll also find Christmas cards, canvas totes, and other bookish gifts. Not sure what to buy? Check out their shelf of staff recommendations with personalized reviews. Don’t forget to stop by the tea room for a soothing cup before you go!
Step into this warm and friendly boutique on the corner of Bull St. and Perry Ln., just south of Chippewa Square. Red Clover offers budget-friendly fashions and unique accessories to please all your most stylish friends and family members. Pick up a pretty scarf and a pair of statement earrings for your best friend, and maybe grab a pair of ankle boots in your size while you’re at it! It’s important to treat yourself, too!
If you’re on the hunt for something extra special for the artistic friend or relative who seems to have it all, you’ll want to stop by ShopSCAD – a retail gallery of unique works by students and alumni of Savannah College of Art and Design. Just south of Madison Square, you’ll find everything from stunning pieces of fine art to handmade décor, apparel, and jewelry. Pick up a copy of The Bee and The Acorn, a beautifully illustrated memoir by Paula Susan Wallace, the president and founder of SCAD. This elegant Rooibos and Fruit Tea blend from The Captain’s Daughter, and these handmade, all natural salves from Humblelove also make wonderful gifts for anyone in need of a bit of stress relief this year.
Pets deserve some pampering, too, and there’s no better place to treat your pooch than Woof Gang Bakery. With locations on Bull St., River St., and City Market, you’re sure to spot their hot pink sign while you’re strolling around the city. Woof Gang is packed with toys, treats, collars, and accessories for both dogs and cats. You won’t be able to resist taking home a pink goodie bag full of holiday-themed biscuits for your furry friend!
The holidays are quickly approaching, and with that comes shopping, holiday parties, and most importantly, capturing the perfect holiday photo. Savannah is the city for holiday festivities, as well as dreamy scenery for capturing your most Instagram-worthy photo! After all, if it’s not on the Gram, did it even happen?!
We are exploring the city with our phone in hand to show that you, too, can capture a beautiful holiday photo for Instagram. You may want to start early to avoid large crowds (aka photobombers) and to take advantage of the softer lighting. So grab your phone and get ready because your Savannah holiday photo is about to be #Instafamous.
First and foremost, Forsyth Park. It’s no wonder this is the most iconic photo spot in Savannah. It is beautiful! Walk into the park off E. Gordon and stroll halfway down the walkway in front of the fountain. Grab a bystander or bring a friend to take the photos. Capture multiple shots, vertical/horizontal, and keep in mind the person snapping the photo will need to be quick as lots of people like to gather around the fountain.
The Olde Pink House
Located on the corner of Abercorn and E. Bryan St., you’ll find the perfect shade of pink for your holiday post. The Olde Pink House offers an ideal backdrop and this particular wall is located on the side of E. Bryan St. Thankfully, you do not have to compete with the sun in this spot as the parking deck across the street blocks most of the sunlight.
Along Abercorn across from Clary’s Cafe you’ll find our next spot…
Green Barn Doors
You may never notice these barn doors if you’re just casually strolling down the street, but they are the perfect color for your holiday photo. As you walk down Abercorn Street towards Clary’s you’ll spot them along the sidewalk.
Now make your way towards River Street to find historic, rustic Factor’s Walk…
Factor’s Walk is a great historical landmark in Savannah, located between Bull Street and River Street. You can find these beautiful walkways leading to many antique shops and restaurants. We chose to capture the one right in front of the iconic restaurant, Vic’s On The River. Grab another grammable shot here, you won’t regret it!
If you’re up for a short drive out of downtown, head to Wormsloe Historic Site…
Located on Skidaway Island, this historic site is stunning. Arrive as soon as the gates open at 9am. This is the perfect time to beat the traffic and capture the best sunlight. You may not find a bystander, so make sure you have someone with you, if you plan to appear in the shot. As soon as you drive through the gate, you’ll see a beautiful row of live oak trees. You may want to stand closer to the front of this stunning view in order to get the most live oaks in your photo.
After you finish your journey of holiday photos, kick your feet up and scroll through all your pictures while indulging in a spiked hot cocoa and pick the perfect Savannah holiday photo! Happy Holidays, Savannah! Tag us in your grammable shots #staysavannah so we can join in on the festivities and possibly share a few!
The days are shorter, and the nights are longer, but people are flocking to Savannah for the holidays. Each year brings a time of joy and celebration, where long-standing traditions meet new ones. From carolers in Chippewa Square to Santa’s arrival in City Market and the Christmas Parade, you can find all kinds of gatherings and events that will light up your holiday season. We’re here to fill you in on some of the most iconic traditions, both old and new, that will make your holiday trip to Savannah one worth remembering.
Winter in Savannah
Savannah winters are generally mild. Daytime temperatures typically average in the low to mid 60s, with overnight lows averaging around 40 degrees. No matter the temperature, you’ll find a heart-warming experience with the holiday events available over the winter months. Here are just a few of the many seasonal hallmarks of Savannah.
Boat Parade of Lights (November 24)
One of Savannah’s most celebrated traditions is the Boat Parade of Lights on River Street. To kick off the holiday season, dozens of lighted boats will take over the Savannah waterfront. You will want to secure your spot on the river early, as this is a well-attended holiday tradition. Enjoy the view from many restaurants along River Street, or book your stay at the Homewood Suites to watch the parade from your room or the rooftop bar! Stay a while and you’ll also enjoy a beautiful firework display!
Holiday Pops Concert with the Philharmonic (December 7–8)
Now in its tenth year, the Holiday Pops Concert is returning to the Johnny Mercer Theater in the Savannah Civic Center. Every year, the Philharmonic convenes for this seasonal celebration with the orchestra and chorus, as well as musical guests. This year will feature the excellent Savannah Children’s Choir. Bring the family for a sing-along of your favorite holiday music. Family matinee tickets are $15 per person. Evening shows start at $25.
Savannah Theatre Holiday Show (November 22–December 24)
‘A Christmas Tradition’ is a wildly popular event that draws people of all ages to the historic Savannah Theatre for a fun, engaging performance, but make sure you’re ready to participate! This show includes everyone in comedic song, dance, and random outbursts. Now in its 17th year, the holiday show is an entertaining experience for the whole family.
One of Savannah’s most characteristic locations, City Market, becomes a brilliant display of lights and cheerful spirits. This destination for entertainment, shopping and dining also includes a celebration for children called “Christmas for Kids” on Dec. 8. Kids will love making ornaments, getting their faces painted, and meeting Santa. City Market also hosts a popular New Year’s Eve celebration.
Any time is a wonderful time to see the beautiful architecture in Savannah. However, during the holidays, visitors love seeing the classic homes of downtown Savannah decked with boughs of holly. Residents and guests alike look forward to touring eight private homes, three inns, and two museum homes, all decorated for the season. There are two tour sessions available, 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. The ticket price is $65 per person.